Thursday, 29 January 2009

Hip Hop Producers - Mr. Loop Interview

"I love taking something from a different era and flipping it into something completely different that a completely different type of person will feel."

Having just dropped his debut LP 'The Bury All' and it being a banger, I thought I should probably interview the man they call Mr. Loop. Then, I did, so why don't you have a read?

Certified Banger: Mr. Loop! How goes it?

Mr. Loop: I’m good, nothing to complain about!

CB: First of all tell us, if it’s not obvious, how did you get your name?

Mr. Loop: Well, two reason really – my surname is Lupin, and I’ve always been called Loop as a nickname my whole life, and I make crusty Hip Hop using sample loops…

CB: And now please tell us how you named your album ‘The Bury All’:

Mr. Loop: That’s just another play on words – I’m originally from Canterbury and featured a lot of east Kent artists on the album, and also its kind of ironically arrogant cos I’m kind of a humble dude!

CB: It’s your first album isn’t it, debut as they say. Might we have heard you on anything else previous to this?

Click here to read on!

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

'The DJ Sessions' - VA - Jabba Tha Kut (Mix CD review)

Blam! Jabba Tha Kut’s new double mix CD could be decribed with that one word. It’s terrific! Jabba has selected just under 20 of the best UK tunes and the same amount of US tunes and has mixed, cut and blended them together most expertly to create a pretty joyful listening experience.

I couldn’t have chosen a better play list myself – familiar and now-familiar tracks form a back-to-back wall of thumping Hip Hop. The opening tracks on both the UK and the US CD absolutely bang – Constant Creation’s anthem ‘Staying Hardcore’ and ‘Do It Now’ by Mos Def and Busta Rhymes are so heavy! English guests include Sir Smurf Lil, Triple Darkness, Skibadee, Brotherman, Jack Flash, Lowkey, Dirty Diggers and Kyza. On the US disc you get the aforementioned Busta and Mos, Sean Price, Marco Polo, O.C., CL Smooth and Reks. The underground is thouroughly represented on both CDs with the lesser known names providing absolute fire to rival the famous guys.

This one will definitely be returning to all manner of music players in my life and I can honestly say it has put me onto a few artists who I’ll be looking out for – Aboriginals for example, who appear to be a modern day Native Tongues – lovely. Thanks Jabba and HHB Radio!

It's being released on 23rd February 2009 and if I were you I'd go here to find out more and to buy it!


Some free flava for ya ear:

Joker Starr - 'All I Want' featuring Micall Parknsun and produced by Ghost Town. Joker Starr is gearing up for the release of his pre-album release which will be called 'Northborough Estate Project'. Look out for that, it's gonna feature Beat Butcha, Keith Lawrence, Genesis Elijah, Micall Parknsun, Jehst and some other on-their-way-up artists.

Recordkingz - 'Heat' featuring Mobb Deep. Recordkingz is producer Juliano Creator (formerly of The Creators) and his album 'Heavyweight' is about to drop. Download this excellent track and get ready for a big release featuring some massive artists.

Lowkey - 'Tell Me Why'. This Quincey Tones produced track is taken from his end of 2008 album 'Dear Listener'. It's available to you for free and if you've not yet picked up that album, you must be nuts - go get it. Lowkey's myspace.

Xrabit & DMG$ - 'Damaged Goods (Photomachine Dubplate Remix)'. This is something a little different for CB but is the norm for new Big Dada signing Xrabit. Best described by the folk who sent me this as "1980's Dancehall x Afro Rave banger". Not sure what all these x's are about nowadays but it kinda makes sense!

Thabo - 'Crossroads'. This UK dwelling US crooner is all mixed up with the Hip Hop heads from Huddersfield and Saving Grace Music were giving this laid back, squidgyly beautiful R'n'B track showcases Thabo's considerable skills considerably. It's got rap at the end too, which I'm guessing is by Jack Flash.

Hip Hop Producers - JC Interview

"I really just try to inject energy into my music. Music should stir up emotions, that's how I feel."

You know that here at Certified Banger we don't ignore great Hip Hop from the UK, especially when it's legitimately free. Earlier this month Sheffield producer JC dropped his 'The KHZ Project' and it most definitely fell into the category of great free UK Hip Hop! The man himself took time out of crafting the heaviest beats to answer some questions:

Certified Banger: Yo JC, how are you?

JC: Yes bruv, I'm good man. Everything is good, just taking a break from studio, trying to cook up some fresh bangers haha. Big up Certified Banger though, if I'm not making music that's where I'm at, reading all the latest hip-hop news brrappppp.

CB: Let's get right into talking about your latest release, the very heavy 'The KHz Project'. Give us the outline of it:

JC: Yes. Thank you for the props, I'm glad you like it. Well all this started back in 2003 about 3 years after I first started making beats. I had an idea and I guess that's just part of who I am; if I want to do something I see it through, and although it's taken nearly 6 years, it's done now, so better late than never. The concept is kinda comical with a serious theme, I basically break into the BBC and hijack the radio, in an attempt to stand up against the commercial garbage music that pours out daily across our airwaves. Funny, but since I started this they are playing loads more decent independent music now, but still not enough, so it's kinda relevant still.

Monday, 26 January 2009

'Relax' - Portable Payback (single review)

Regardless of what you think, Jurassic 5 were great. Only the other day I was watching the DVD that came with the excellent re-issue of Jurassic 5's debut album and wondering what will happen next.

I know Akil is coming out solo (as Akil the MC) and Chali 2na might one day drop the second of his Fish Market mixtapes but what about Soup and Marc7? Well now I know:

Soup and Marc7 have formed Portable Payback and their first single, off their soon to be released EP, is 'Relax'. 'Relax' flips the same sample as Young Einstein used on Ugly Duckling's latest single 'I Wont Let It Die' but the slower tempo makes for an entirely different track and the fact that they share the source doesn't matter.

Soup and Marc ill out with some old school style bragging over what is a, um, relaxing beat that still manages heralds their triumphant return! Welcome back I say.

'Tales of a Warped Mind EP' - Crow Stick (free download)

If you're a fan of birds on poles, or just Hip Hop then Crow Stick's new EP, which comes as a very expensive free download might be just the four tracks you need to hear today.

Coming out of the Gordon Bennett Records collective this bassy voiced MC spits random thoughts over some very nice beats, all of which are produced by Grim Hermit.

Sick lyricism is the order of the day; don't expect to understand it anytime soon - just enjoy it!

You can get your woollen mittens on this
by going to the Gordon Bennett website and signing up. They will then send you the link and indeed, probably many more links in the future. Check it.

'Unstabilized' - Solocypher & DJ Nifty (free download)

BritHopper Solocypher has hooked up with Drum 'n' Bass head DJ Nifty to create a not-your-average UK Hip Hop album. And it's free.

Over a wide ranging selection of unusual beats (not weird, just not usual) Solocypher drops hungry rhymes with confidence with topics ranging from drinking on 'Beer'd Up' and the hilarious squelchy ballad 'Beer Lurve' to daily life on 'Divine News'.

Solocypher, as is known to be the case on debut releases, has interesting things to say by the pound - listen up but be careful, there are rude words!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

'Eyes Open' - Jyager (single review)

There must be no better way to begin a new year than with a massive posse cut. Jehst’s YNR label kick 2009 off in fine style with Jyager’s ‘Eyes Open’. The re-spit version is like a platter of what’s hopefully to come from the label this year. With 8 MCs jostling to ride a heavy beat mainly consisting of a fog horn and a lorry reversing this should crash into the scene with much devastation when it’s released in February.

As well as Jyager you get verses from Jehst, Micall Parknsun, Cobane, Sir Smurf Lil, Kyza, Joker Starr and Dubbledge and production from Cee-Why. If this isn’t enough (it is but…) you also get the original version which introduces Jyager; the latest MC to be paraded out of the YNR stable.

‘Didn’t Wanna Have To Do It’ is a tale about a girl, which to be honest I don’t really have time for. I’m going to play ‘Eyes Open’ again. And again. And again.

‘Eyes Open’ is out on 2nd February 2009 on YNR Productions. Seek it out in the usual places.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

'The Kemistry EP' - The Kemistry (EP review)

If UK Hip Hop is going to get noticed by the usual ignorant people who walk the streets of our country listening to the Chris Moyles podcast then surely it’s going to be music like The Kemistry’s that will do the job.

Sure, everyone knows Estelle now, but she got told to drop the rapping by her US label honchos. Everyone knows The Streets and Dizzee, but they’re not representative of the whole scene. Some people even know Sway, Lethal Bizzle and Roots Manuva but they don’t know the half of it.

Bonafide Hip Hop producer Bare Beats and MC/producer Smokey hold down the Hip Hop side of things on this upbeat, melodic, ever so slightly trip-hop tinged EP. Kemi brings type of soulful female vocals that are currently in vogue thanks to the likes of Adele and Amy Winehouse.

The production here is top notch, by which I mean very professional sounding. Smokey handles upbeat BPMs expertly on ‘Searching’ and ‘Greed & Arrogance’ whilst Kemi takes the helm on ‘Window’ and ‘shrinking Fear’. ‘Mascot’ has a Massive Attack meets Mendelssohn sound to it – a thing of blunted beauty transformed by Smokey’s angered sentiments.

‘The Kemistry EP’ is available to download now at itunes, Emusic and Amazon and I’d recommend any forward thinking Hip Hop fan to buy it – this is credible UK Hip Hop with mass appeal.

'The 40 Minute Wonda' - Redbeard (free download)

Ignore the slightly dodgy cover art, download this and delve in.

Bassy voiced Redbeard's warm up session for his forthcoming album on Eat Good Records is full of bangers and banglets (snippets of album tracks). There are nuff full tracks here to warrant a good listening session and as the name suggests, it's 40 minutes long.

Labelmates SonnyJim and Kosyne feature here amongst others and there are some really original and sometimes funny (Y'know, like jaunty?!)productions on this - plenty to nod your head to.

Louis Den Beat Cypher 12th February

Alright chums? This looks good doesn't it? If you're in or around Birmingham that night you should get yourself there - what could be better than cramming into a small room with a load of Hip Hop heads, some MCs and some producers?

Click the image to see it properly.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Silver Linings

A few things that have been dropped in my box that I've been ignoring for a while now:

Spee 69, the Yorkshire rapper I featured on my compilation 'On The Radar' sent me his track 'The Best Thing In Your Life', a track he did in 2004 and was the first tune on his EP. If you are an MC or a producer based in the UK then send me your music for the next installation of 'On The Radar'.

Steg G and The Freestyle Master, of Scotland I believe sent me 'Paperchase'. You'll never guess (without listening) which cheesy pop tune they sample so I'll tell you - 'Money, Money, Money' by Abba! Check it out, it's a right stomper! My sincerest apologies for not posting this sooner lads.

P.Genz from New Jersey, sent 'I Still Love H.E.R.'. The title must be influenced by Common's 'I Used To Love H.E.R.' and the track features punchy drums and nice sped-up soul sample.
If you are an artist of the Hip Hop variety then send me your track via the email address to the right or through the wonderful contraption that is SoundCloud (see right also).

'Release' ft. Shax - Incisive (video)

'With You' ft. Mutya Buena - Ashley Walters (single review)

Ashley Walters featuring Mutya Buena? I’m not gonna like that am I?! Well actually, I was pleasantly surprised. Whilst I wouldn’t consider myself a fan of either artists, I approached this with nigh on a closed mind and it managed to prise the gates to my psyche open enough to squeeze its way in.

It’s Swindle’s production that really does it for me here – the piano-led, modern gentle funk flavoured backing drew me in. Ashley is a skilled writer and his delivery is extremely on point.

Beyond the typical boy/girl playoff this actually has a bearable sentiment – one usually sickeningly sweetened by everyday popsters (like Sugababes!). Ashley has a mature and positive outlook on relationships and fatherhood and on a serious note; it’s one that many people need to hear.

‘With You’ is released on the 18th Januray on download and it’s CD release date is the 25th. ‘With You’ is taken from ‘The Album’ which is due for release on February 23rd on Abstract Urban.

'Club Freaks Anthem' - The Buizniez (single review)

‘Club Freaks Anthem (Part One)’, just from the title, immediately sounds like something I am not going to like. And subject-wise I don’t. Rapper Artcha James competently churns out clich├ęs and provides one of the least unimaginative choruses imaginable.

The production however is something else. A buzz bass line soon accommodates a hypnotic funk guitar loop a la Destiny Child’s ‘Bootylicious’ or Survivor’s ‘Eye of the Tiger’. Native rhythms are treated with reverb and a vaguely grimy drum beat keeps step throughout. Every now and then a synth adds a few stabs and the track breaks down funkily in its final throes to provide a great finale.

To be honest, I’d like to hear this track revoxed by some imaginative souls who might do some justice to the interesting production. The Buizniez (pronounced ‘business’) release ‘Club Freaks Anthem Part 1’ featuring Artcha on February 9th 2009.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

'Edstrumentals Vol. 1' - Evil Ed (CD review)

If it's beats you're looking for then look no further than Evil Ed's 'Edstrumentals Vol. 1'. It's 20 tracks of Evil Ed's best knon instrumentals used by Yungun ('The Art of Celebration' and 'Nico Suave'), Task Force ('The Tournament'), Tommy Evans ('Alright/OK'), The Colony ('Back Up'), Asaviour ('Field Of Dreams') Conspicuous & Shameless ('Write A Song For Me'), Ricochet aka Ric Branson ('A New Way of Thinking' & 'No Pressure') and Jehst ('Alien').

As well as known beats there are a few bonus beats thrown in for good measure and the liner notes include Ed's thoughts and recollections of each beat.

If they're good enough for those MCs then surely they're good enough for you to spit to/juggle with on your CDJs/kick back with when no words are required. Its also pretty chilling background music for Hip Hop Heads to remax to. This is probably a release that will appeal more to existing fans of Evil Ed but any beatfreak should be feeling his classic production style.

Get yersen a copy from Suspect Packages or somewhere like that. If you've not already got it, buy 'The Get Together' too, the album he did with Conspicuous not a few months back.

Recordkingz 'Heavyweight' Coming Soon

The man responsible for sourcing rare vinyl (check his site/store for the likes of Lord Finesse, Just Blaze, Alchemist, JuJu, Evidence, Buckwild, Havoc and Madlib is on the verge of dropping his debut production album 'Heavyweight'.

That man is UK producer Juliano Creator (one half of The Creators who dropped 'The Weight' in 2000) and this album features Mobb Deep, The Beatnuts, Joell Ortiz, Evidence, Little Brother, Guilty Simpson, Craig G and more.

Juliano, as part of The Creators has produced for Phi Life Cypher, Mos Def & Talib Kweli, Phil Da Agony, Consequence, El de Sensei and Diamond D. His success continued with TV music for advertising campaigns including Hugo Boss and Sony, Rare Funk Compilations that he compiled, production and remix credits on hit singles for artists like Nas and Dilated Peoples.

'Rock Ya Shoulders' featuring The Beatnuts and 'Heat' featuring Mobb Deep are the current singles, both on itunes now and 12" in February. Keep your peepers peeled for more info, a review and an interview.

Free Tunes

Just downloaded these tracks free (and legally) from here -thanks! If you go there there are few more tracks to be had from these artists:

Stereo MCs - 'Black Gold'
Shape of Broad Minds - 'Electric Blue'
Roots Manuva - 'Again & Again'
Prince Po - 'Bump Bump' ft. Raekwon
Mr. Scruff - 'Music Takes Me Up'
Dub Pistols - 'Rapture'
Dr. Who Dat - 'Deep Blaque'
Dan Le Sac - 'The Beat My Heart Skipped' (removed at request of manager)

Big ups to Lex, Big Dada, Ninja Tune and the other labels who gave these tracks up.

Sarah Love mp3

Sarah Love's UK Spotlight January mp3 and my original post.

Kashmere – 'The Jazz'
Evil Ed & Conspicous ft Shabam – 'The Ill Out'
Asaviour – 'Beefy'
Jack flash ft. J Simple & Apatight – 'Ground Wurq Anthem '
Ramson Badbonez – '3 Endings /Saga Of Death'
SonnyJim – 'Next Generation'
Jon Phonics ft. Mr Drastik & Verb T – 'Jealousy'
Mystro – 'Banishment'
Beat Butcha ft. Skandal – 'Home Economics'
Chain Of Command – 'Truss'
M9 – 'Higher Learning'
Blak Twang – ''96'
Chester P – 'Suicide Switch'
Sir Smirf Lil' – 'Back At You'
Scorzayzee ft Fayol – 'Scorz Chat'
Roots Manuva – 'Let The Spirit'

Free Ninja Tunes

Here are another few free (and sanctioned so) downloads from Ninja Tune:

'Best of 2008' - VA - SK Vibemakers (free download)

SK Vibemakers, as is their wont, have collected together the best tracks from the grimy side of UK Rap music in 2008 and put them altogether in the mix. Interspersed are clips of interviews with the relevant artists (as they do).

It features Giggs, Bashy, Chipmunk, Sway, Ghetto, Wiley, Skepta, Dizzee Rascal, Estelle and many more. It also actually includes said artists biggest and bestest tracks.

Coming Soon From Wolftown and UK Runnings

Two releases coming from this UK Hip Hop powerhouse very soon, March to be precise:

First up, since I've not covered it before and since Certified Banger gets a shout out on the outro is Big Narstie's 'The Big Man Returns' which is mixed by the one and only Tricksta and features Giggs, Wretch 32 and Scorcher.

Go here for Big Narstie's myspace, go here to read an interview with the man and go here to purchase some of his earlier work including mixtapes, CDs and DVDs.

Check out my shout out on that and big ups to Tricksta and Big Narstie for helping my name get out there.

Secondly, and one I've mentioned before, is the collabo between HHB Radio and UK Runnings: 'Flying the Flag', a double CD containing 50 tracks of UK badness (or goodness, depending on whether it's bad meaning good or good meaning good). I digress. It features the likes of Wiley, Tinchy Strider, Ghetto, Giggs, Big Narstie, Skinnyman, Kyza, Million Dan, Baby J, Lowkey, Pyrelli and loads and loads more (obviously, there are 50 tracks!)

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Wolftown Wednesdays #4 (The Return)

Late - 'Just Me' (produced by Tricksta)

Here's the video too:

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Fly To Tokyo

Gallery 1988 are still holding their 'Under the Influence' show in LA. Eric Tan, a Disney employee who worked on The Incredibles had this to say about his work and his fandom:

"My piece is influenced by a combination of the plane from the cover of License to Ill and retro travel posters like the ones TWA and Braniff Airways did back in the 60's and 70's. Since it's a tribute show encompassing their career thus far, I wanted to take something from their early years and something that's more current. The cover of their first big record was so iconic that I knew I had to incorporate it in the piece. The video for Intergalactic was also just as iconic and I thought that those visuals like the robot and the squid guy would be funny things to add into the mix. I just had to have the two make some sense and that's where the travel angle tied it together.

I like the band so much 'cause not only have they created some of the dopest beats and memorable rhymes but they also progressed so much over the years. All their tracks hold up and rock as much today as they did back when they came out.

[My favourite Beasties track is] 'Shadrach'. I think it's the simple beat and the ridiculously fast trade off between the three on all them lyrics."

To view or buy all of the work from this gallery, click here , there are loads of beastie treatsies to feastie your eyes upon.

Music-wise here is 'Shadrach', Peanut Butter Wolf's remix of 'Shadrach', McSleazys mashup of Franz Ferdinand and Beastie Boys 'Triple Take' and Graham Coxon's remix of 'Triple Trouble'.

Monday, 12 January 2009

JVF Clique Interview

"'Alternative Income' is a breath of fresh air; it's the arrival of the mothership on the music scene."

JVF Clique, the group soon to release their album 'Alternative Income', already heard on Certified Banger's 'On The Radar' mixtape and featuring on this months Suspect Packages radio show, got together to answer some of my questions about them. So try to ignore the slightly disturbing photo to the left and read this:

Certified Banger: So, where are you coming from? Part of the world? Tell us about it – in general and with regards to Hip Hop, and what mentality do you have when creating the rap music?

JVF: Well we’re from Hinckley town, Leicestershire, The Middlelands, UK. A-past-it’s-best market town where a lot can take place in efforts to stem boredom. Back in the 90's there was a Pirate radio scene but it the DTI squashed it, most of the town now is beer and poppy dance music but there are a few heads that keep a music scene alive. We try to keep our music non-stereotypical and original; we always try and experiment, push the boundaries and find new angles, aiming to give the listener a new viewpoint of reality, and not a load of bollocks about flash cars and jewellery. We have always been very self-critical which can create obstacles but does create a quality end product we are all happy with.

'The KHZ Project' - JC (free download)

If you like your Hip Hop music to cause you to screw your face up and stamp your feet and if you like your Rap to be hard and gully then you really need to get your ears clamped onto JC's latest project 'The KHZ Project'.

Coming straight outta South Yorks, Sheffield to be precise, JC is the guy who produced most of the massively underrated 'Bringin' It Back' album by Steel City residents Hoodz Underground.

This project features MCs more than sympathetic to JC's crushing sound - they take the mic and truly mangle it. R.C., Nicky Taurus, Vendetta, Tef, LKC, Menace, Karizma and Joe Kobi are names you may not know but you're sure to have heard of (if you're into UKHH) of SonnyJim, Kosyne, Shade1, Yogi, Skandal, Kyza and Klashnekoff - all lend verses.

I keep saying this (free downloads are just getting and better) but this is unbelievably good to say it's free. You'd be a proper idiot to leave this one here, or even to leave it in your itunes - you need to burn it to CD or stick it on your ipod and prioritise 'The KHZ Project'. Awesome.

Download it here

'The A Loop Theory' Coming Soon!

Here's an album I'm truly looking forward to this year (hence the advert above): Asaviour & DJ IQ's 'The A Loop Theory'. The press stuff says lots of things including this:

"'The A Loop Theory' is a collaborative project between Asaviour & DJ IQ who has combined both their production skills with an album of epic proportions to create an eclectic sounds cape rooted in Hip Hop but incorporating Soul, Funk, Electronica, Rock, Jazz, Blues, Grime, Dubstep and R&B.

'The A Loop Theory' boasts a staggering list of guest vocals from, Kashmere, Kyza, Pride, TB, Dubbledge, Graziella, Thabo, Jehst and Verb T."

Look out for an exclusive interview coming soon to Certified Banger and visit the Saving Grace Music website to keep up to dat.

'Clocks' - Chima Anya (free download)

New chaos from GTA's Chima Anya:


Don't usually do this but here's his own promotional garble:

"This time of year most of us have a heightened sense of awareness with regards to time and deadlines we set ourselves to achieve what we want in life.

This offering from London-based Oxford-derived lyricist Chima Anya, produced by DIZZ1, serves as a chilling reminder to all of us to get on that grind. A striking blend of grime's reckless frenzied mental state and Detroit's Dilla esque monstrous swagger, this track is one of many gems on Chima's upcoming mixtape."

Unattended Baggage Blows!

Disorda has dropped another Suspect Packages radio show on us; the first of 2009.

Click here to download the show which features tracks and exclusives from Scorz, M9, Chester P, Mr. Loop, Kasha, Illustrate, Ramson Badbonez, Brotherman, Sir Smurf and a whole host of others who shouldn't be offended if I didn't type their name on the list. Anyways, you can go to Disorda's blog and read the whole tracklists hould you so desire.

There's also a nice old skool selection featuring Krispy 3, Black Radical Mk II and others.

Something's Fisheye

Today's Beastie Boys art, from the Gallery 1988, LA show entitled 'Under The Influence', is by Michael Alvarez. Here he talks about his piece:

"My painting is based on their videos where they use fisheye lenses, and would get wild and rap infront of the camera. I always thought those were fun, and liked the environments they were in. I used reference from the 'Gratitude' and 'So Wat'cha Want' videos. On Mike D's shirt I included a Bad Brains logo, since they started out playing in hardcore bands, have been influenced and continued to carry on the spirit of the genre.

I also included a "Bus" bomb on the rooftop, which is one of several alias's of the late great graffiti artist Dondi. I have one of his books, and saw a picture of Dondi and Adrock together, and knew that I had to include him somewhere in the piece. To me they both represent a classic New York nostalgia, at least to me.

What I like about their music is that it is fun, and goofy. Their beats are amazing and they have a great sense of history and always give credit to those that have influenced them. On top of that, they're smart dudes."

Michaels favourite Beasties songs: 'Get it Together' ft. Q-Tip, 'Rhymin' and Stealin'', 'Pass the Mic'.

Here are my picks for the day:

3 tracks from a recording of the Boys at the Heineken Open'er Festival in June of last year: 'Gratitude', 'Pass the Mic' and 'So What'cha Want'.

And 2 remixes of 'So What'cha Want': 'Butt Naked Version' and 'Soul Assassins Remix'

Woody and Matman Mixes

Local (to me) man and original B-Boy/DJ type Mr. KD (photo courtesy of him) put me onto a couple of super DJ mixes yesterday afternoon. Done by a couple of his mates, none other than DJ Woody and Matman they are sure to get your party started:

DJ Woody's Club Mix '09 contains a ton of old school and good time nonsense mixed right up to the highest degree of skill.

DJ Matman's 'No Fuss' Mix features none other than Dizzee, Busta, Jay-Z, Beenie Man, NWA and more and once again; it's mixed and blended to perfection. Check his blog for more info and the tracklist. Here are details of his next party:


Saturday, 10 January 2009

'Safe' - Dan Bull (album review)

There aren't many albums that lives up to the gushing hyperbole of its press release. Dan Bull’s press release describes him as having “underground credibility and mainstream appeal”. “Impossible” I hear you say. “Nay” I reply.

Really, this guy should be picked up by radios, whether he will or not remains to be seen but we, the underground, should certainly be supporting him meanwhile. He’s also someone we shouldn’t cruelly brush off as soon he does gain some exposure outside of our little UK Hip Hop bubble. Anyway, rant over – let’s get onto the album and the music:

Melodic and extremely musical (Dan plays the guitar) with singing as well as properly skilfully constructed rhymes this isn’t the average UK Hip Hop album. In fact I’ve never heard anything that could measure up to this. The (idiotic) mass media critics will inevitably make comparisons to the likes of Just Jack but, if you do hate, don’t let that put you off!

Apparently the concept of the album is that “'Safe' tells the story of a young man who attempts suicide during a global thermonuclear holocaust and awakens in a new, ambiguous nirvana” – so that’s a bit different to the usual rap topics. Summer sunshine, friendship, love and loss, alienation, politics, death, religion, suicide and insanity all figure here – surely everyone can relate to at least one thing of that list.

The music and atmosphere of the album transforms with the subjects covered – some is really upbeat ‘Summer’, ‘My Catharsis’ and ‘Cut’ (tracks 2,3 and 4), some is reflective and moody, some verge on anger. Whatever the mood, it is a beautiful album.

The sing-songy style, depending on your mood, may cloy a little but at just over 40 minutes long it might not be a problem for you – it’ll be 40 well spent minutes. And it’s a free 40 minutes too – Dan has made the low quality version of the album available for free download and with music of this quality, that could be a pioneering move – I definitely want to buy myself the CD version after hearing it.

What's the Scenario?

Cargo 8-3am, 7 February 2009
£10 adv, 6 before 9, £12 after
tickets: ::

Live: TY, Mystro, Lazy Habits
DJs: Sarah Love, MK

SCENARIO the new out and out Hip Hop party at Cargo, produced by the crew that brought you Soundcrash, Loose Change and Red Alert, kicks off on the 7th February. With a line-up as heavy as Biz Markie multiplied by Maseo, SCENARIO will bring the best of the new scene in the context of the established. A night where the cutting edge new talent comes head to head with the most prolific out there in a butt shaking jam in the hallowed arches of Cargo.

The 7th Feb date gets up with arguably one of the last decade's most talented rappers TY on the mic taking to the stage with his DJ. Spinning alongside will be DJ MK (joined by Mystro) and SARAH LOVE, so embrace yourself for the good vibes, there are plenty of more surprises in the pipeline. Support will come from one of the most progressive London LIVE hip hop crews LAZY HABITS.


Friday, 9 January 2009

'Love Jones' - Killah Matriks (free download)

Now y'all will know I don't promote and post artists who I'm not feeling - unless I expressly give my honest opinion in a review, for example.

Killah Matriks contacted me (and a load of other bloggers who're also feeling him) with his 'Failure' track and has now followed it up with 'Love Jones' - one of those odes to Hip Hop that never really fail. If someone makes a song about loving Hip Hop then they usually do and you can usually be sure that they're not out to rape our culture.

Killah Matriks more than salutes the genre on this great track produced by Nefarious! and has made it available for you all to download:

'Fire' ft. Damien Marley - B-Real (single review)

After getting together to make a song about Marijuana, B-Real and Damien Marley must have parted ways, I imagine, with those common words: 'We must do this again sometimes'. And by golly they have.

If you didn't like this song last time round ('Ganja Bus') then you may not like new single 'Fire'. Yes, it's another catchy, radio-friendly (aside from the endless weed references) single. This time the self produced beat reflects both Damien's Jamaican heritage and B's Latin roots making for some booty-shaking riddims.

Lyrically it explores nothing new, but fans of Cypress Hill won't be listening for original topics. As I've mentioned (but not as many times as they do) this track is about smoking (not doing unspeakble things to law enforcers - B's other fav subject) and Mr. Real takes an opportunity to rap in Spanish as well as his usual nasal English.

Do I like this track? Yeah. I've been a fan of Cypress Hill since I got into Hip Hop (even though I've never been into anything they represent) and B-Real still has whatever it was that drew me to him in the old days. Looking forward to the album, 'Smoke 'n' Mirrors', which is out on Audio Hustlaz/Duck Down Recordson February 24th.

'Mainstage' ft. Defari - 3 The Hardway

Rapper/DJ/producer crew 3 The Hardway are on the verge of releasing their new album 'Set in Stone'. The lead single of that album is 'Mainstage' which features Likwit Crew main man Defari (my favourite rapper-who-I've-not yet-checked-properly).

This, to me is pretty much how Hip Hop should be: Rhymes about making it (but maybe not always that), scratches and a headnod beat. Despite being from Denver, Colorado they've cultured a pretty westcoast sounding thang which suits Defari's amazing voice like a Dapper Dan outfit.

You can check this track out on that Imeem thingy or on their very own myspace.

'Animal World' - 1865 (free download)

Non-depressing alternative-slash-leftfield Hip Hop shocker! 'Animal World' by 1865 is wonky, but it's upbeat and listenable - wow! Ha, I'm not actually that much of a skeptical hate monger but sometimes I just can't get with the Aesop Rocks and the Sage Francises of this world.

You lot probably think I listen to some pretty weird stuff anyway but although this is different it's not too strange. There is a modern electro influence seeping through, from the juttery beats to the subject matter of the sung chorus vocals. I guess some people would consider this 'Hipster', but I'm not sure it is... those crunk snare fills are just ironic!

Whatever, just check it out: 1865 - 'Animal World' (or here)

Let it Snow

Just like in the UK, the US have been having snow, cancelling shows... then making rap songs about it.

First it was Blue Scholars with 'Coffee and Snow', then Common Market (I'm a real fan of these guys) came with their self-referencing 'Tobacco and Snow Covered Roads' in which RA Scion takes off some Geologic's rhymes over the same snowed-up beat. Bearing in mind both groups share a producer it's all in good fun but I do love the line: " Geo stole a beat, that was 's'posed to be//On the next Common Market EP..." and "Yes I said hood, check me in the hood" after Geo raps "We'll dig ourselves out the hood". Watch 'em in order, it all makes sense:

Free tracks from Miss Tofelees

Fellow Yorkshirian and beatmaker Miss Tofelees has got a couple of tracks for you. The one you can get your grubby i-mits on now is actually a transatlantic collaboration between her and Florida MC Real Life. The track is called 'Oven Roast' and is a pretty unique tale "about a power-crazed police cop leading a double life" and the production harks back to those famed 90s years.

If you like that one, or are just into Hip Hop in general, especially UK Hip Hop then you need to send her an email ( Tell her how absolutely wonderful she is and how much her beats bang and she'll reply with a record. The song you'll get is 'The Title' which features/is by UK MC Dabbla, from the group London Zoo.

'The Title' is a disco sampling, grime beat influenced slow burning stomper, the likes of which I've not really heard before. This is actually some original material proving that probably, a woman's approach to producing Hip Hop is something the game is sorely missing.

She promises me there is more to come this year and I for one will be looking forward to it - you should be too.

Boombox Bonaparte

Today's offering of Beastie Boys art comes from Jason D'aquino. Here he is in his own words talking about his awesome illustration in a somewhat 'novel' location:

"I wanted to render an old school shoulder-fire boombox - a "ghetto-blaster" as we called them. I just needed the right surface, and when i dug up the little Napolean Bonaparte book, that was it. Perfect.

The Beastie Boys kick some serious ass. I mostly enjoy all the pop culture references they make. Anyone who drops Abe Vigoda is OK by me.

'Egg Man' [is my favourite Beastie Boys track], it makes me laugh everytime. It's hard to rank B-Boy songs though. I run a tattoo shop, so I play albums straight through. Any album that isn't good enough to play all the way front to back gets shelved-yanked from rotation. So I don't rank songs so much as albums. 'Paul's Boutique' is probably tops for me."

'Paul's Boutique' is an excellent album, possibly their best, but I'm not in the habit of posting whole albums. Here's 'Egg Man' (off that album) on it's own (well, accompanied by a chopped and screwed remix - crazy kids!):

Beastie Boys - 'Egg Man'
Beastie Boys - 'Egg Man' (C&S)

J-Dilla Changed My Life

Check out Termanology's tribute mixtape to J-Dilla, 'If Heaven Was A Mile Away', and have a think about attending this charity function if you can:



A night in tribute to the life & work of a true Hip-Hop genius.

7pm-Midnight Sunday 15th February 2009
@ Cargo 83 Rivington Street, London, EC2

Minimum donation £5 on the door or in advance through / 08444771000.

All proceed from the night will be donated to the J-Dilla Foundation & Lupus UK
DJs performing for free on the night in loving memory are…

The Extended Playerz: Shortee Blitz, Mr Thing & Harry Love
Marc Mac (4Hero / Visioneers)
DJ Spin Doctor (The Doctor's Orders),
Morgan Spacek
DJ Rags & DJ Lok

'So True EP' - Inverse (free download)

Californian duo Inverse have dropped an oh-so-nice freebie for y'all domes. It's a fully sun-soaked 6 tracks, expect dreamy productions from 5 different producers and vocals reminiscent of mid-90's rap.

You can download it here or here.

The EP features Deacon of Cunninlynguists on the track 'So True' and the production of Kno (also of Cunninlynguists) on 'Spark My Soul' and 'Goodnight Goodnight'.

Inverse - Recording for So to a Kennel from Cook Classics on Vimeo

'Dem Na Like Me' ft. Wiley - The Qemists (free remixes)

The Qemists will be dropping their latest single 'Dem Na Like Me' featuring the daddy of the Grime scene Wiley on the 26th of this month (January for all those reading in retrospect). The lovely people at Ninja Tune sent me a whole heap 'o remixes to keep your ears busy this weekend:

First up there are some Dubstep ones:

The Qemists feat. Wiley - 'Dem Na Like Me (Subscape Remix)'
The Qemists feat. Wiley - 'Dem Na Like Me (King Cannibal Remix)'

And then there are some others:

The Qemists feat. Wiley - 'Dem Na Like Me (A1 Bassline Remix)'
The Qemists feat. Wiley - 'Dem Na Like Me (Elektrons Remix)'

'Dem Na Like Me' is taken from forthcoming album 'Join The Q' out 02/02/09 on Ninja Tune.

Free Freeway!

You probably know this already, I've been slow on the uptake, but their persistant emails (like every day) have made me act finally!

If you go to The Freeway Change (it's basically Freeway's blog) then there are literally hundreds of things to download and listen to. There are tracks with NORE, Busta Rhymes, T-Pain, Ludacris, Lloyd Banks and there are loads more tracks with just Freeway. He did most of this as part of his 'Month of Madness' (December), when he posted a new track every day!

I really appreciate the hard work - the grind - so many rappers think they can get away with too little. 'The Creation' is a little mixD/L for ya - download here (that's if you haven't hot-footed over there already).

Thursday, 8 January 2009

We Three Kings

Today's piece of Beastie Boys influenced art is by Chris Roth and it's one of the most unique and original pieces out there. This is stained glass and there is just so much sense to it. Check out what Chris had to say for himself when I asked him what influenced him to make this:

"I've been a HUGE fan of the Beastie Boys since I was about 11. I wanted to somehow showcase in the piece that these three fellows were right there at the birth of Hip Hop and haven't, like so many other acts, faded away with time. The motif of "The Three Kings" worked perfectly, as they are "three Jews from the east" and there is something just so wrong (and awesome) about those early Beasties hanging out with the virgin Mary. The piece was constructed using traditional painted stained glass techniques. A design is finalized, all the pieces are cut from glass, pigment is applied, and the pieces get cooked in a kiln at 1300 degrees F before assembly.

I like the Beastie Boys for a number of reasons: their music, their longevity, their creativity, their positive messages, their efforts to free Tibet.

Favorite BB song... too hard to say..."

So that leaves it up to me to put the 'B' in B-Boy, I'm going to pick the track. I'm going to choose 'Paul Revere', a much sampled/rehashed/quoted Beasties track that tells an imaginary tale of how the boys all met:

and here's a track sample in 'Paul Revere': 'I Like Funky Music' by Uncle Louie

Sarah Shows Love For UK

1xtra's Sarah Love shows love for the UK in this weeks show.

The majority of UK features are part of a UK spotlight mix although Jehst and Jack Flash feature elsewhere in the show alongside a load of other great Hip Hop. Good to see someone on 1xtra doing what we all thought 1xtra would do in the beginning.

Her best of UK spotlight tracklist goes exactly like this:

Kashmere – 'The Jazz'
Evil Ed & Conspicous ft Shabam – 'The Ill Out'
Asaviour – 'Beefy'
Jack flash ft. J Simple & Apatight – 'Ground Wurq Anthem '
Ramson Badbonez – '3 Endings /Saga Of Death'
SonnyJim – 'Next Generation'
Jon Phonics ft. Mr Drastik & Verb T – 'Jealousy'
Mystro – 'Banishment'
Beat Butcha ft. Skandal – 'Home Economics'
Chain Of Command – 'Truss'
M9 – 'Higher Learning'
Blak Twang – ''96'
Chester P – 'Suicide Switch'
Sir Smirf Lil' – 'Back At You'
Scorzayzee ft Fayol – 'Scorz Chat'
Roots Manuva – 'Let The Spirit'

Here's a radio rip mp3 of the show

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

'Intergalactic' Art

Remember, Gallery 1988 in LA is having a Beastie Boys flavoured show right now entitled 'Under the Influence'. I've decided, because I ove those boys so much, to keep posting pictures from it.

Today we have Dan Santat's contribution and here's what he told me about his poster and his Beastie Boys love:

"'Intergalactic' is my favorite music video of theirs and a lot of my work has been inspired by old Japanese monster movies, toys and pulp art.

I love the Beastie Boys music because it's fun. I like a lot of rap and hip hop but their songs aren't about the b**ch they f**ked or the gangster they shot or the drugs they sold. Those themes can get pretty stale rather quickly. It's just about whatever. Life and having fun!

My favorite Beastie Boys song is probably 'Get It Together' (I have been just as big a fan of A Tribe Called Quest)"

So there you have it!

MK's Whistle-Rock Tour

One of your favourite DJs (DJ MK - Roots Manuva's tour DJ) has put together a mix of tunes produced by one of your favourite producers (Pete Rock).

MK gets down with a quick, 17 minute blast through some Rock production which aired on KISS100. He's been kind and proud enough to let you have it for free download:

Run DMC - Down With The King
Jeru Tha Damaja - Can't Stop The Profit (Pete Rock remix)
Biggie Smalls - Juicy
Brand Nubian - Slow Down (Pete Rock remix)
Das EFX - Jusumen (Pete Rock remix)
Pete Rock & CL Smooth - They Reminisce Over You
Dead Prez - Warzone
Jim Jones - We Roll
Nas - The World Is Yours
Public Enemy - Shut 'Em Down (Pete Rock remix)
Lords of the Underground - Flow On (Pete Rock remix)

This mix features some of my all time favourite Hip Hop records as well as some remixes of my all time favourite Hip Hop records - gotta be good!

Download now!

Lupe Fiasco Finances An Indie Band

So this is (probably) the truth: Lupe only finances and produces Japanese Cartoon - I was always sceptical but it's been good promo for me and JC, and maybe even Lupe.

Anyways, check out this mashup made by Fats Percival, Japanese Cartoon's main man:

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

'Audio Revolution' - K-Delight (album review)

‘Audio Revolution’ is one of the most Hip Hop records made in 2008. It’s got samples plundered from anywhere and everywhere, scratching, production and MCing – probably was breaking and graffiti going on in the studio whilst it was being made. It’s a revolution in the sense that the wheel (of steel) has revolved back round to its original position – Hip Hop’s state at birth.

‘Audio Revolution’ is what any forward-thinking, backward-saluting DJ should be doing right now – it reminds me of Grandmaster Flash at the same time as etching that ‘Freshhhhh’ motif into my mind with a new meaning.

The album kicks off with the sample “My brief was; I could use any sound I wanted”, closely followed by “I can play anything that I wanna play” on the title track – trust me, K-Delight does not stray from the mark. Things never get boring – new basslines and melodies enter and exit the mix, keeping even the most ADD-est kid enthralled.

The MCs add icing to a perfectly delicious cake, but it’s not really them that steal the show – another sign of its nod to its origins. Lewis Parker’s Star Wars themed ‘Return of the Jedis’ is interesting and Koaste’s futuristically retro, stripped back ‘Teenagers From Outer Space’ is a party track made for astronauts. Skitz the Gemini and Shinobi Stalin provide just the right amount of rhymes on title track ‘Audio Revolution’ and Evil Ed produced funkster ‘Forever Hip Hop’. ‘Scratch Club’ features guests of another kind: DJs, more than 9 in all – they all have a go at wrecking the records – turntablism fans should be satisfied.

This CD should be considered synonymous with Hip Hop therefore, if you’re on my blog, you shouldn’t be, you should be on your favourite online outlet for dope Hip Hop coughing up for this excellent piece of work.

Beastie Boys Inspired Art Gallery

To celebrate the Beastie Boys being absolutely rad (What?! They are, by very definition, radical) the 1988 Gallery in Los Angeles has put on what looks to be an awesome show of Beastie inspired art. They've been posting a load of the images on their own blog and that gave me an idea - why not post up a picture every day with some other Beastie Boys related audio? Well there's no reason not to (aside from copyright laws etc) so here we are:

This 'Intergalactic' inspired poster is by Ryan Hungerford, a guy who draws all manner of wonderful retro-like creations and even has his own toy - check out his styles yo, peep the way he's drawin' em.

Now to the other Beastie's stuff, since this is the first one, how about 30 minutes of live music? It was recorded on 15th May 2004 at ICA, London and features show piece versions of 'Root Down', 'Sure Shot', 'Flute Loop', 'Body Movin'', '3 MCs and One DJ' and many more - all accompanied by Mix Master Mike. If you've never heard a Beastie show then you're in for a treat, MMM mixes up loads of Hip Hop instrumentals and samples whilst the Boys rock their familiar lyrics.

And to accompany this, why not download a portion of a Beastie Boys interview circa '98 where the Adam's and the Mike talk about the other Mike, the one who's a Mix Master.

Beastie Boys - 'Live in London'

Beastie Boys - 'In interview - About Mix Master Mike'

Monday, 5 January 2009

'Celtic Underground Session 3' - VA - Mixed by Jee4ce (free download)

Celtic Underground Session 3 Mixed by Jee4ce

01. Capital 1212 ft. Mikey Krummins - Shootin Stars (Scotland)
02. Terawrizt ft. Jambo - End Of Dayz (Ireland)
03. Qred ft. Joe Blow 4dee and Skamma - Lunar Burn (Wales)
04. Respek BA - OH (Scotland)
05. Jee4ce - On The Rise (N.Ireland)
06. Ralph Rip Sh** ft. Dubbledge - Kiss The Guns (Wales)
07. Evil Residents - Demonic Soldiers (Scotland)
08. Rubberbandits - Pure Awkward (Ireland)
09. Sweet And Tender Hooligans - I Have Seen (Wales)
10. Intox ft. Jonnyboy - Take Me Back (Ireland)
11. Skribbo ft. Loki - Heavyweights (Scotland)
12. Nugget - Loser (Ireland)
13. MasterSystem - Its Time (Scotland)
14. Werd & Deeko - Mad World (Scotland)
15. Cullo - Who Am I (Ireland)
16. Dave Gunn - Under The Forgotton Page (Scotland)
17. Lineage ft. Maverick Sabre - Cambia Tu Fortuna Remix (Ireland)
18. Hoax MC - Rhymin Son (Wales)
19. Holmes - HipHoperation (Scotland)

Download or stream as one track

Download with tracks separated Broadcasts Worldwide Club Nights

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Awdio, the people from the place, actually make this happen! This month you, my reader, may be interested to know that you can dance in your bedroom to these Disc Jockeys:

3/01/09, Yo Majesty (US) , Miss Libertine, Melbourne
4/01/09, Bonobo (Ninja Tunes, UK) , Sonotheque, Chicago
8/01/09, Chase and Status (UK), Sandwiches, Wellington
10/01/09, Flying Lotus(Warp, US), Ambar, Perth
23/01/09, DJ Vadim and Yara Bravo (UK/Sweden), Sandwiches, Wellington
31/01/09, Cut la Roc (UK), Dogstar, London

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Sunday, 4 January 2009

Wrapped Up 2008

Seriously one of the best ideas ever: 'Wrapped Up 2008': 6 producers, 2 from England, 2 from Wales, 2 from Scotland, send each other a themed vinyl - the theme this time is Christmas. Each producer has to use the vinyl they get to produce a Hip Hop beat - simple! Metabeats and P.L.O. rep Wales, Kosyne and Kelakovski hold down England's corner and S-Type and Jaisu fight for Scotland (not that it's really a battle). Find yourself half an hour, settle down with your laptop and a cuppa and be properly entertained by the masters at work:

Download Metabeats' beat here and P.L.O.'s here courtesy of those kind Associated Minds peeps.

Lupe Fiasco's Indie Band?

A couple of Lupe related things here:

First, a track from an MC named Killah Matriks, from his forthcoming mixtape 'Epic Failure': 'Failure'. Check his myspace out now.

And secondly, as legend tells, Lupe's new band: Japanese Cartoon. Thanks to SmokeYYY at for the heads up on this one (it's his fault if it's false):

Lupe Fiasco has alledgedly started a band described on his myspace page as Post Punk/Alternative/Indie, which pretty much sums it up. Supposedly, if it is him, Lupe puts on a faux-British accent for his latest mad project, check out the tracks here:

Japanese Cartoon - 'Army' (or here)
Japanese Cartoon - 'Heirplanes' (or here)

Here's the denial - but it's good press eh for a bit of a rubbish band?!

Saturday, 3 January 2009

'A Fool's Bet' - Teef (video)

Teef says: "This is a video "a fools Bet" that was meant to promote the REI EP... it hasn’t been finished to the point of calling it complete in teef and toes eyes... so I never put it up on the net or sent it to TV... I doubt I ever will send it for broadcast... but I didn't want it just sitting there catching computer dust... and it was mad fun as well so share it with me."

To downlaod the EP click here

'The Bury All' - Mr Loop (album review)

Mr Loop’s ‘The Bury All’ is the second release from Sweatbox Sounds, a label shaping up to be one that only brings quality to the crowded table of UK Hip Hop. So far their less-is-more approach suits me to a T; 40 minutes is a perfect length for an album. You still get 11 tracks of goodness wrapped in great artwork so let’s explore it more:

Mr Loop is the producer and he’s brought along a truck load of guest artists for the ride; no less than 15 (including Wordsmith and Mudmowth) if my counting skills are up to scratch. A few appear multiple times – Zoo Mark and Slippa of RapSkallions and Yosh all hold down multiple mic duties.

Mr Loop’s production is wide-ranging, his sample pool is wide and deep – he steals from medieval England’s lute-strumming bards, slices up whole orchestras, mugs jazz bassists for their dusty low frequency goodness, sneaks easy listening breaks from under relaxed musicians noses and swipes 60’s pop and all for his own gain – and yours. This CD really is a treat – the sounds are so diverse and so obviously the produce of a crate digging whiz kid.

The MCs offer a largely cheery body of work and things get rowdy on both parts of ‘Satisfaction’ as 13 MCs vie for mic time. Yosh, Slippa and Zoo Mark explore both sides of drinking to excess on ‘Out on the Razz’ and ‘the Middle Path’ and B’Tol’s Eva Lazarus assisted ‘Try Again’ is sure to allow you to sink into its gently ebbing waters. ‘The Infamous Baron Spittswell’ is made to have a video – although Yosh paints a more than vivid picture of this maverick character, this is a lyrical imagination at its best!

‘The Bury All’ will be out on 12th January 2009 on Sweatbox Sounds and will be available on CD (you can get one now direct from the man himself for £5) or as a digital download. Visit his myspace page for more info.